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​Hampton County's health picture is not pretty. In fact, it's so stark Estill officials formed an action-oriented working committee to address the problem head-on.

A 2009 DHEC report cited Hampton County as first in the state for percentage of adults overweight or obese. To combat growing obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and coronary heart disease in the community, town officials developed a comprehensive Healthy Lifestyle Challenge program.

The plan came to life at the hands of a 19-member committee working with area schools; state, county and town governments; and the private sector.

To get people moving more and on a more regular basis, Estill officials constructed a walking and nature trail; instituted a weight loss contest; added Zumba dance classes to the town's recreation program; started an Eat Smart, Move More chapter; and updated playground and exercise equipment at two parks.

The Town of Estill has funded the program along with grants from entities such as the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control; SC Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Development Fund; and Lowes. The Coastal Community Foundation and the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry also contributed to the $118,000 initiative.

The work of getting healthier has just begun. In coming years, town leaders plan to provide youth and adult soccer leagues, more weight loss contests, more Zumba classes and increase utilization of the Estill Medical Center for treating obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Contact Danny Lucas at dlucas@centurylink.net or 803.625.3243.